Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre ~ fragrance review

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Roman Widow, detail

I’m still exploring the Italian niche line Maria Candida Gentile, so you can imagine my delight and curiosity when I realized that the collection includes a rose-centered fragrance. Cinabre, one of the “Classic” scents in the line…

…creates the fragrance of a magic rose with a breakthrough formula. It blends the essences of the Moroccan Splendens roses, absolute of May roses and pure vanilla to recreate, by magic, the scent of the Ayrshire rose Splendens, an ancient rose well known for having exquisite and extremely rare notes of myrrh.

It was also inspired by an inscription on the Porta Alchemica in Rome and by the Dracaena tree, also known as “the dragon’s tree,” which produces a red sap (“dragon’s blood”).

All this scene-setting aside, Cinabre is an oriental rose that unfolds like a crimson satin fan…

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Roses de Chloe ~ fragrance review

Chloé Roses de Chloé advert

Chloé is one of those brands that just makes me feel old. Old enough, at least, to remember a time when Karl Lagerfeld was the house designer and when the signature Chloé fragrance was a powerful white jasmine-tuberose perfume in a bottle topped with beautifully sculpted, frosted-glass floral forms. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that today’s Chloé is a ribbed-glass square bottle containing a sheer peony-lily-magnolia scent. Just yesterday, Robin posted a quick poll asking everyone to “recommend a perfumista-worthy inoffensive, ‘light & fresh’ office-friendly floral.” I’d nominate Chloé.

And now we have a pink-tinted flanker, Roses de Chloé…

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Tauer Perfumes Phi Une Rose de Kandahar ~ fragrance review and a quick rose poll

rust-colored rose

Phi — Une Rose de Kandahar is the latest from indie niche line Tauer Perfumes, and when my sample arrived last year, I sprayed it once, then put it right into the purgatory basket, where samples go to languish when I can’t decide if I like them or not. And Phi did not capture my affections right away. It’s the second fragrance to join Tauer’s Collectibles series (the first was Zeta), which is based on rare natural materials. Since the scents are dependent on specific harvests, they may change slightly from batch to batch as new materials are sourced. As you might have deduced from the name, Phi was inspired by a natural extract of a rose from Afghanistan.

Anyway, I did not love Phi — I wasn’t even sure if I liked Phi — so I let it sit for a few weeks, and then a few more, and then I came across it at random and gave it another shot. Maybe it’s the colder weather, or maybe it’s that I wasn’t in the right mood the first time around, but now it seems perfect.

The first thing you need to know about Phi (assuming you haven’t already smelled it, and many of you probably have) is that it’s not a big floral rose, nor is it a feminine one…

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A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle Respawn ~ fragrance review

A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle Respawn

Last summer, A Lab On Fire launched Rose Rebelle Respawn, a “modern, feminine” fragrance developed by perfumer Sophia Grojsman. Like everything about A Lab on Fire, it’s a bit mysterious: it’s the third or fourth permutation of Grojsman’s 100% Love, originally released in 2003 by S-Perfume (the parent brand of A Lab on Fire). The original 100% Love was followed by S-Perfume 100% Love {More} in 2006, and more recently, by A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle in 2011, which I never had the chance to try. (I think it was available only in Paris, and it may or may not have been identical to 100% Love.)

Rose Rebelle Respawn has a composition of ivy, mint leaves, carnation, rose, musks, incense and cacao…

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Aerin Amber Musk & Evening Rose ~ perfume reviews

Aerin Amber Musk & Evening Rose fragrances

Last week I reviewed Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine and Gardenia Rattan, all from Aerin, the new-ish lifestyle brand of Aerin Lauder. Erin asked if I’d left the other two fragrances in the collection, Amber Musk and Evening Rose, until later because they were the best of the bunch, but no, I left them only because I wasn’t quite as interested, insofar as I’m not a huge amber fan and rose, well, 2013 was very nearly the year of the rose, right? At least, rose vied with oud as the note du jour. Of course, oud probably won, it usually does.

But yes, they are, arguably, the best of the bunch, and they do have more weight and sillage than the other three. They still don’t quite meet the standard I’d hoped for from the set — something similar to the upscale Private Collection scents Aerin Lauder designed for the Estée Lauder brand, Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang and Private Collection Jasmine White Moss. But they’re closer in spirit, and while I have no idea which of the five will sell the best, these are probably the two that are most likely to please perfumistas…

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